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Change Generation

Bringing Israelis And Palestinians Together With Mobile Apps

In Jerusalem, an organization called MEET (Middle East Education Through Technology) has figured out that technology is a potent way to bridge the gaps and try to create peace.

"The complete isolation between Israelis and Palestinians is a real problem." Anat Binur, co-founder of MEET (Middle East Education Through Technology), explains. "Palestinians and Israelis can literally live 5 to 10 minutes away from each other and never meet each other."

She is hoping to bring these strained communities together through her three-year program, which is held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and designed to bring young people from Palestinian and Israeli backgrounds together to study marketing, programming, and strategic planning—all while helping fostering communication and understanding.

One tool that came out of this program: a mobile app called Count Me In, which originated as a way for students who graduated from the program to keep in touch. It has now morphed into a larger social networking site.

Binur has high hopes for the long-term impact this organization will make not only for the participants’ work in technology, but on the overall outlook for the relationship between these communities. "I think MEET’s ultimate goal is not the agreement that will be signed by the two sides. It’s the day after," she says.